Children's Literature - Jamaica Johnson ConnerLandau dispenses of the old wives' tale that owls are the wisest of all birds in this book, which is part of the "Animals After Dark" series. Glossy black pages feature full color photographs and creamy yellowed text; this visual effect enhances the nocturnal aspect of an owl's life, while complementing the information. Landau describes a variety of owl species, focusing on their physical features, their habitat, diet, hunting habits, families, and their calls. In addition, a discussion of the "history and mystery" of owls, the ways owls benefit humans, and the dangers they face are provided. Resources include a glossary, a fun fact page, a suggested reading list, and an index. One area that separates this piece from other pieces of nonfiction is that the glossary is presented prior to the text. This allows children to preview unfamiliar words prior to engaging in the reading, which is appropriate for the third grade level. Because of this unique organization, a student reading this book as part of a science lesson would also engage in an effective reading strategy: previewing.
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